Labor accuses Rishi Sunak of fear of David Cameron Greensill’s lobby series after evading the House of Commons barbecue when the government dispatches a junior minister to answer questions
- The shadow chancellor Anneliese Dodds received an urgent question on this subject
- She wanted answers from Chancellor Rishi Sunak, but he was not present
- The Minister for Small Businesses, Paul Scully, instead responded for the government
Labor today accused Chancellor Rishi Sunak of fear of taking control of David Cameron Greensill’s lobby series.
The shadow chancellor Anneliese Dodds received an urgent question on this subject in the lower house and wanted to grill Mr. Sunak.
But the Chancellor was absent and the Minister for Small Businesses, Paul Scully, responded for the government instead.
Mr. Sunak’s failure to come forward led Ms. Dodds to claim that he was a “frit” to face MPs.
Downing Street announced yesterday that the Cabinet Office had commissioned an independent investigation.the development and use of supply chain finance and related government activities and the role Greensill played in it.
The review examines how contracts were secured and how corporate officials worked with the government while the text messages sent between Mr Cameron and Mr Sunak were excited.
In response to a message, the Chancellor said he had “urged” officials to consider proposals that could have helped Greensill.
Shadow Chancellor Anneliese Dodds was asked an urgent question in the lobby row of the House of Commons and wanted to grill Rishi Sunak
But Mr. Sunak did not appear when the government sent Small Business Secretary Paul Scully to answer questions
Downing Street yesterday announced an independent investigation into David Cameron Greensill’s lobby series. Lex Greensill, the founder of Greensill Capital, is pictured at right.
Ms. Dodds today demanded a statement from the Chancellor “on the procedure by which Greensill Capital was approved as a lender for the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme”.
In response to Mr Sunak’s absence, the Labor Frontbencher said: “I welcome the presence of the Minister, but it was the Chancellor who had to come into the house today.
The Chancellor, who said David Cameron would urge his team to adapt the emergency loan systems to Cameron’s new employer.
The Chancellor, whose officials met with Greensill ten times. The chancellor who used the government business loans when they hit the headlines and who personally announced these plans.
“But today the Chancellor is busy giving these loan programs his name.”
She added: “The Chancellor said he would measure himself against the public. Why is he afraid of getting involved in the Greensill scandal with them? «
Mr Scully hit back, saying that Mr Sunak wrote to Ms. Dodds last week with a “comprehensive answer” to the questions she raised.
He also said it was not for Mr. Sunak to answer questions about the system as it was ultimately the responsibility of the Ministry of Enterprise, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).
Mr Scully said, “The reason the Chancellor is not here is because we were talking about CBILS in the question we were asked.
“I would suggest to the right honorable lady that she may ask in a different form or a different question as the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan program to which the question relates is administered by the British Business Bank.
“The Foreign Minister of BEIS is the sole shareholder in the bank and, as such, responsibility for delivering the system rests with BEIS.”
Boris Johnson said today that there are questions that need to be “satisfied” in the lobby series as he insisted that the independent probe get “carte blanche” to ask anyone something.
The Prime Minister said he wanted the Nigel Boardman-led review to be carried out “quickly” and that the legal expert should be given “the greatest possible access so we can all understand exactly what happened”.
However, Downing Street admitted at lunchtime that the probe has no legal powers and can only make recommendations.
Mr Cameron welcomed the review and said he was ready to prove it.
A spokesman for Mr. Cameron said: “David Cameron welcomes the request and will be happy to attend.”
The verification checks how Greensill Capital – founded by Australian financier Lex Greensill – was able to secure government contracts.
The following are a number of reports of lobbying by Mr. Cameron on behalf of the company – including texting messages to Mr. Sunak’s personal telephone number.
Mr Cameron finally broke his silence on the series over the weekend with a statement insisting that he had not broken any rules but accepted that “lessons must be learned”.
As a former prime minister, he said that all contacts with the government should be done through “only the most formal channels” so that there is no room for misinterpretation.